Rossewitz Mansion, Germany

Due to its distinctive architectural and stylistic characteristics, the Rossewitz Mansion in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Laag district of Liessow is a very important monument. It is regarded as Mecklenburg’s first baroque structure.

Rossewitz Mansion
Global Fish, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Nortman family, who owned numerous estates in the region, had a mansion in Rossewitz, which served as their seat since the Middle Ages. Curt Nortman sold the property to his wife’s brother-in-law Vicke Vieregge on October 20, 1450. At that time, Duke Henry IV of Mecklenburg acquired Vicke Vieregge along with Rossewitz and the surrounding estates. From that point forward, the Vieregge family (otherwise called Viereck) has lived on Rossewitz. Joachim Heinrich von Vieregge built a new mansion in the middle of the 17th century on the foundations of the mansion that was destroyed in the Thirty Years’ War.

Rossewitz Mansion
Global Fish, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Charles Philippe Dieussart, a Huguenot who had traveled to Mecklenburg through Holland and joined the Güstrow dukes’ staff, was the building’s architect. Despite the difficulties Mecklenburg faced following the war, construction began in 1655. Around 1680, construction was completed.

The ducal chamber took over the mansion and estate around 1760 when Victor August von Vieregge, the last member of the family,’s fortune began to deteriorate. Friedrich Franz I., who established Heiligendamm as a seaside resort and frequently stayed in Rossewitz, Dargun, and Bad Doberan, still lived in the mansion. He was particularly concerned about the mansion’s upkeep. Up until 1847, funds from the state budget were still approved. Up until about 1900, a tenant’s apartment was located on the ground floor.

Rossewitz Mansion
Global Fish, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
After the Second World War, the mansion housed refugees for a while before going back to being empty. The murals underwent preliminary conservation work as a result of the DEFA film “Elective Affinities” that was shot in the palace in 1973. The palace could have been fixed up at the end of the 1970s, but that never happened.

In 1982, the roof gave way. Then, at that point, the destruction of the palace was thought of, however in 1986 a crisis rooftop was constructed. There was another roof collapse in 1991 and 1992. The German Foundation for Monument Protection began implementing security and renovation measures in 1993. Floors were installed once more in 1995 and 2000 following the installation of a brand-new emergency roof, and the roof structure was rebuilt.

Rossewitz Mansion
Global Fish, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – Fireplace
An early baroque structure, the mansion has two main floors, two mezzanines, a high basement, a central projection with a triangular gable, and two short wings in the back. Granite serves as the building’s foundation, and plastered brick serves as the building itself. The walls conceal a ventilation system and a number of secret stairs. The strong central cornice, the rusticated corner pilasters of the central avant-corps, and the portal and window frames were all constructed of red marble.

Fired clay is used to make the crown cornice with the consoles and metopes. The fruit hangings above the three ox eyes and the fruit garlands below the windows of the central avant-corps, which provide additional lighting for the ballroom, were made of dark gray sandstone. In the stairwell, polished marble handrails were embedded in the masonry, and marble fireplaces and valuable stucco could be found all over the mansion. Gray glazed tiles were custom-made for the roof.

Rossewitz Mansion
Entrance Hall – Von Global Fish – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia
The floors and their stucco were also destroyed when the roof fell in 1982. The ballroom’s valuable illusionist wall paintings were nearly destroyed as a result. It is likely just because of the extremely impressive walls (1.43 m beneath and 1.08 m over) that the structure endure an extensive stretch of opening, as a ruin.

Rossewitz Mansion
Reconstruction work of illusionistic paintings in the ballroom – Von Global Fish – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia
The wall paintings were saved after 2000 by the MPA Bremen of the Institute for Materials Technology as part of a project funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation.

Since 2004, the house has been privately owned. Restoration of the ballroom’s illusionist paintings has been ongoing since 2005.

Even in the long run, the restoration work is not finished.

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